This article briefly describes the rights of people in old age homes.
Minimum requirements of old age homes
All residential facilities for older people have to be registered with the state to make sure that they meet certain mimimum requirements and abide by the following specific rights, outlined by the Older Persons Act (no 13 of 2006). These minimum requirements include:
- Access to 24-hour care and support for frail older persons and those who need special attention.
- A residential committee representing residents, especially if there is more than 10 older people living in the facility.
General rights of older people
Older people livingin Old Age Homes have the right to:
- Appoint representatives to act on their behalf.
- Have reasonable access to assistance and visitors.
- Keep and use personal possessions.
- Be informed about the financial status of the residential facility and changes in management.
- Be given at least 30 days' notice of a proposed transfer or discharge.
Right to admission
No older person should be refused admission to a residential facility if they meet the basic admission requirements. If the manager of an old-age home does refuse admission, he or she will have to provide reasons, in writing, for the refusal.
Right to refuse admission
No older person can be placed in residential care without their consent unless their mental condition renders them incapable. In such cases, consent must be given by people authorised by the law to do so.
Reporting a rights violation
If you feel that the rights of an elderly person are being violated, report it to the social worker at your nearest District Office for further investigation.